Safari time!

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We could not spend more than two weeks in Tanzania without taking the time to visit one of their various park and reserves. When meeting Tanzanian people, the first minutes of the conversation were always the same: “How are you? Where are you from? Have you done a Safari?”

We therefore decided to go to the Selous Game Reserve, one of the closest reserves to Dar Es Salaam, to check whether the Tanzanian Safaris (we must confess, in a very short version) were up to their reputation…

After a short flight and an impressive landing, we are already sitting in a Safari Land Rover, on our way to our lodge, located within the reserve.
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Even after a tropical rain, the landscapes are really breathtaking!

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The first animal we met were Impalas which turned out as shy as they are graceful.

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After a long day spent looking for him, we finally met the king of the jungle! To be more precise, we met two queens of the jungle, taking care of their newborn.

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Lion or not, we were all very touched by the feeding time, three meters away from the car!

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We also did a short boat trip on a lake located in the middle of the reserve. This lake was crowded with crocodiles and hippos: swimming is not recommended…

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We saw a few giraffes during the day, but this one stared at us for at least five minutes!

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Second member of the “Big Five” club, the elephant. No matter how big it was, it was rather afraid of our presence in the area. Our guides stated that this is due to the increasing activity of poachers in the country, who do not hesitate to slaughter them to get hold of the ivory.

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Last member of the “Big Five”, the Buffalo, trying to smell us in the distance. Tanzanie - 189

Final step of our day of safari, a Masai village located at the border of the reserve. We had the opportunity to meet a real Masai woman, who explained the daily life of the tribe.

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Just a few zebras we met on our way back to the lodge…

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This day was really unforgettable and enabled us to discover another face of Tanzania. We realized how important this asset is to the country and why Tanzanian people are so proud of their landscapes and wildlife. Our students were perfectly aware of it: one of their projects consists in promoting local tourism among the youth of Tanzania!

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A weekend in Dar Es Salaam

Hello everyone,

As you know, we came to Dar Es Salaam to organise a business game with the students of the ICT4D foundation, to teach them about entrepreneurship and to support and encourage them to set up their own business and make their dreams come true.

The first week was very intense, the first day was all about assessing the level of the students and trying to figure out what they expected from the course and what they would be most interested in. Each evening, we were adapting our presentation material to make sure it corresponded as much as possible to the level and expectations of the students. We noticed that our students very much appreciated our efforts (they’ve even sent us emails thanking us for our hard work), which was really nice to hear and this gave us even more energy and enthusiasm to continue what we were doing.

Nevertheless, after a week of presentations and business game, we were, as you might understand, exhausted and happy to finally commence the (short) weekend!

We would also like to share this part with you and show you a glimpse of what we’ve done on Saturday and Sunday evening.

Saturday evening, we moved to another hotel, near the seaside, the cool seabreeze and magnificent seaview were a nice change from the warm and oppressive city center. We first had dinner at a restaurant nearby the hotel, as you can see we were very happy (especially Laurent :)):

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After dinner we had… drinks! Of course :)! We had a lot of catching up to do after a whole week of amazing and new experiences.

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On Sunday, we visited a local market where we experienced the Tanzanian way of doing business :). We were hardly able to take it all in in such a short time! Here are some impressions of what we saw:

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After that, we visited a crafting market where sculptures made of ebony wood were sold. It was quite the opposite of the loud and oppressive market we had previously visited. We bought some nice gifts and souvenirs for our friends and family (and for ourselves :)).

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After this nice, relaxing Sunday, we were ready to kick-off week two during which we will be focusing on the Worldloop project. While we are working on this project, our students have some time to finetune their business project and to get ready to present their project on Friday. We are very much looking forward to seeing the result of the business projects on Friday, to select the winner of the business game and to celebrate together with them!

See you soon for some more updates!

Cheers,
The team

About flexibility…

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Hello everyone,

We would like to tell you a short story that says a lot about the way issues are being tackled here in Tanzania.
During our presentation on Day 2, we decided to include a short video about how the economy works. Only thing is that to play a video, you need speakers. Which we didn’t have.

Naive as we are, we therefore asked for speakers. Which they didn’t have either. Here begins the flexibility lesson.

First step, take an hour to go and buy some speakers. Come back with a nice and brand new box of speakers. Open it and plug it in… but what kind of plug is that?
One thing you have to know, is that sockets are not yet standardized here. Some appliances work with English sockets, some others with European ones. But the above mentioned speakers work with something different, something that would not fit in any adapter we had.

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English plug.

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uropean plug.

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Unidentified plug.

Second step, find an adapter that is compatible with the plug you have (around half an hour or so). But the plug found is actually a socket, and should be mounted into the wall.

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Adapter. But to be mounted into the wall.

Third step, find an adapter, so you can connect the plug into another adapter, compatible with the socket into the wall (another 30 minutes).

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M
other of all adapters.

Finally, just connect everything together, prey and hope, take it pole pole (relax), and enjoy your video!!

Thanks for following us, and stay tuned for the next post.

The Flexibles.

Building dreams – Day 2 & 3

Jambo!

Day 2 and 3 of the business game have flown by! We usually start the day with a game, something the students (and the teachers ;)) love! Today we’ve played ‘human bingo’, everyone got a piece of paper and they had to ask each other questions, if the answer was yes they could write down the name of the person. The first person to have completed one row with names (horizontally, vertically or diagonally), wins the game. It’s always so much fun to see all those smiling faces and seeing the students running around in the classroom :).

After that, we go back to business! On day 2 we presented the business model canvas and asked the students to identify key partners, key activities and key resources. They set up an initial financial model, discussed customer segments and thought about possible ways to promote their product or service and which channels would be the most appropriate for this.

On day 3 we got deeper into market analysis and business writing!

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After each presentation, the students got an exercice so they could directly put the learnings into practice. During their exercice, we assisted the students who had questions and made further suggestions to improve their business plan.

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So after a hard day of working, we kicked off the start of the weekend by further exploring the city. We ended up in the Indian part of the city and enjoyed a great Indian dinner (a nice change froim chicken and rice ;)).

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Enjoy the weekend!

Cheers,
The team

Building dreams – Day 1

Karibu sana!

You might be wondering how the first day of our business game at ICT4D went. Thanks to Renalda and her intensive promotional campaign for our entrepreneurship project, and of course the help of Close the Gap (they paid the cost for the course), we could welcome 28 enthusiastic students to our classroom (full house!).

Renalda first introduced her team and welcomed us:

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After that, we kicked off our first session and explained the students how to create a project card for their idea (title and definition of their idea, what kind of solution they offer to customers and what impact their idea will have on society and/or the environment, the advantages and disadvantages of the idea, the parties that they require to work with and the cost and revenue streams).

After that they started working on their project card:

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In the afternoon the different groups presented their project ideas:

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After a full day of presentations we went home with our heads full of ideas :), we were all exhausted but very happy about the result! In the evening we discussed the different project ideas and their feasibility so we could focus the next day on 6 projects that the students can work on in groups. We also did a short questionnaire to get an idea of the student’s expectations and adapted our courses (the level the students is really high!).

We’re looking forward to the next days to see the different projects take shape!

Kwa heri (bye)!

The team

Visits to OK Plast and ICT4D foundation

Hi everyone!

We’re happy to give you another update from the warm Dar Es Salaam! As mentioned in our previous post, we had planned two very interesting visits on Tuesday to the two partners we will be working with: OK Plast & ICT4D.

We first met Fadl Ghaddar from OK Plast, who showed us around in his factory and explained us how their recycling process works. This gave us better insights to prepare the business plan for the joint venture project between OK Plast and Chilambo.

With these machines they melt and extrude the plastic and they recycle it into carpets (amongst other things):

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Laurent, Toon and Fadl:

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In this room they recycle the copper. Through different chemical processes they purify the big plates of copper (see picture 2 below). Afterwards they melt the copper plates and create copper wires.

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So here we are with Mr. Ghaddar and Mr. Chilambo:

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After a long and hectic drive through the city (traffic is a nightmare in Dar), we finally arrived to ICT4D where the students were already brainstorming on topics for the business game:

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We were very impressed by their level of professionality and the creative ideas they had!

Afterwards they were more than happy to be in the picture with us when we left:ICT4D - group picture

Stay tuned for more updates about the business game in the coming days!

Cheers,
The team

Karibu in Dar Es Salaam

Habari za asubuhi (good morning) everyone!

After a long but smooth flight we arrived safely in our hotel in Dar Es Salaam, the city where will be staying for almost two weeks!

Yesterday we met with Renalda (Chief Technical & Operations Director), and Mr. Elladius Tesha (Executive director) of ICT4Development Tanzania, both very friendly and warm people. We further discussed the business programme and the planning for the week to come.

Today we will be meeting with Mr. Ahmed Ghaddar from OK Plast (a partner of Chilambo), to discuss their needs and expectations. Chilambo collects the waste and OK Plast will take care of the recycling. They are specialised in the recycling of plastic, which they reuse for example to make sandals and slippers. They have recently started recycling used batteries as well.

In the afternoon, we will be meeting Renalda again in the ICT4D offices to prepare the business game and to check the equipment.

We’re very much looking forward to meet all these different people and see how we can start a fruitful collaboration.

Stay tuned for more news!

Cheers,
The team